10:30 AM

National Forest Foundation and SRP Partner to Improve Watershed and Forest Health in Northern Arizona

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) and Salt River Project (SRP) announced a new partnership that will help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire across the Salt and Verde River watersheds and allow SRP to continue providing an affordable and reliable water supply for the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

NFF and SRP entered into a 5-year agreement that establishes the foundation for the entities to work together to fund forest restoration projects and programs throughout SRP’s watersheds. SRP will donate $500,000 per year to NFF to help support specific forest restoration projects.

SRP will also be donating $25,000 per year to support NFF’s Wood For Life (WFL) program. The WFL program provides wood from forest restoration efforts to fuel Indigenous communities that rely on firewood to heat their homes. Forest restoration projects generate a large volume of small-diameter, low-value, woody material that often has no outlet. WFL salvages a portion of this small-diameter timber and donates it to Navajo and Hopi partners. Tribal youth crews and tribal fire crews work to distribute the wood directly to elders and families in need. 

This year, SRP and NFF are partnering on two restoration projects located in the Tonto National Forest that will thin approximately 3,600 acres – Pine Canyon and Deadman Mesa. These projects will directly protect the Wildland Urban Interface communities of Pine, Strawberry, and Randall Place, reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, as well as protect critical water supplies for the town of Pine and downstream users.Baker Thinning Project HFI

“We are thrilled for the significant investment in forest and watershed health by SRP as part of NFF’s Northern Arizona Forest Fund, focusing on priority restoration needs across the Salt and Verde watersheds,” said Rebecca Davidson, NFF Senior Director of Conservation Programs. “This exciting partnership will bolster ongoing work, seed new projects, and leverage millions of dollars that will collectively benefit local communities and downstream water users. Thank you for your leadership, SRP.”

The water that SRP supplies its 2.5 million customers originates from snow and rain that falls across 8.3 million acres of forested watershed in northern Arizona. Important partnerships like these are essential to SRP’s mission of delivering reliable, affordable, and sustainable water supplies. 

“We are grateful for NFF’s partnership on reducing wildfire risk and protecting critical water supplies. This long-term partnership commitment will help us accelerate the pace and scale of forest restoration in northern Arizona and help SRP achieve its forest health goal to help thin 500,000 acres by 2035,” said Elvy Barton, SRP Manager of Water and Forest Sustainability. 


About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Valley’s residents, delivering more than 244 billion gallons of water (750,000 acre-feet) each year, and manages a 13,000-square-mile watershed that includes an extensive system of reservoirs, wells, canals and irrigation laterals.

About NFF

About the National Forest Foundation: The congressionally chartered National Forest Foundation promotes the enhancement and public enjoyment of the 193-million-acre National Forest System. By directly engaging Americans and leveraging private and public funding, the NFF improves forest health and Americans’ outdoor experiences. The NFF’s programs inform millions of Americans about the importance of these treasured landscapes. Each year, the NFF restores fish and wildlife habitat, plants trees in areas affected by fires, insects, and disease, improves recreational opportunities, and enables communities to steward their National Forests and Grasslands. Learn more at nationalforests.org.  

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